Table of Contents
THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
No. 174 MAY 1949 Price 6d.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Ave., Milson's Point|
|Production Asst||Bill Gillam|
|Sales and Subs||Helen Brook|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Editorial – Lot 7||2|
|Advertisements in the Magazine||3|
|At Our April Meeting||5|
|Club Officers Appointed by Committee||5|
|Social Notes for May||6|
|Outdoor Films of Australia (Advt.)||6|
|The Twenty First Re-Union by Kath McKay||6|
|The Black Sheep of the Federation by Brian G. Harvey||13|
|Safety First in the Bush by Jim Brown||16|
|Geology for the Bushwalker||17|
|A Good Time Was Had by All (Paddy's Advt.)||20|
Editorial - Lot 7
The Valuer-General's letter negotiating for the purchase of Lot 7 North Era for “National Fitness purposes” may have been due, as our Honorary Solicitor believes, to a typographical error. But this is supposition and it would be well to consider our attitude should the letter mean what it says. If the National Fitness Council does want to acquire our land, then it appears that it does not appreciate the work of voluntary organisations. The S.B.W. does for its members everything that the National Fitness movement seeks to do. Its methods are different, but the results - physical fitness and education for citizenship - are those for which the National Fitness movement strives. The S.B.W. does this at no expense to the public purse. It requires no building materials, offices, club rooms, or paid secretarial assistance. Nor does it monopolise the one piece of land which it claims. Nobody ever suggested that we should make lot 7 an exclusive S.B.W. preserve. Though the Club contributed 87% of the purchase money and did the entire-work of organising the purchase, it was decided, with only one member dissenting, that the trust should be for “bushwalkers generally”, which, in fact, means everybody who can get there. Since then the club has paid the rates and done all the work on the block with little assistance,from the great number of “bushwalkers generally” who enjoy the camping there.
The Club supported the National Fitness Council's efforts to acquire Era after it had failed to have the land resumed and added to Garrawarra. Long ago it was decided that it would be better that these lands should be in the hands of the National Fitness Council rather than remain open to private exploitation. It was admitted that there were disadvantages in this scheme. The Council would probably want to erect buildings and this would mean a road. A much preferable scheme was for the Government to resume the area and add it to Garrawarra, thus making it available to the public while keeping it as a primitive reservation.
We have a good case for such a resumption. Millions have been spent in roads for motorists and others who enjoy their week ends at the seaside. One by one the walkers' beaches have gone. First Garie, then Wattamolla, then a hostel at Marley. South Era and half of Burning Palms has been taken over by the shack-owners. Only North Era remains as a walkers preserve. In all the coast between Broken Bay and Nowra this is the only surf beach free of buildings. A great number of walkers and others enjoy the stretch of coast from Garie to Burning Palms. Is it too much to ask that a few thousands be spent in preserving it for their use?
If this area were added to Garrawarra it could admirably serve the purpose of encouraging national fitness with little further expenditure. It would be most desirable that permanent rangers should be appointed to protect the flora and fauna, supervise sanitation, control fires, undertake re-afforestation and provide fuel. Camping fees could be charged if necessary. If this were done thousands of walkers and campers of all ages would be enabled to enjoy their leisure in the bush and the surf without requiring building materials, roads, or departmental supervision.
Advertisements in the Magazine
We are keen to get more advertisements for the magazine. They serve two very useful purposes. Firstly they contain a lot of useful information - what you can get, where you can get it what it costs, particulars of car or bus services etc. Secondly we want the money, because a little more revenue would enable the production of a better magazine - photographs and illustrations might become a regular feature.
So when you find car drivers, bus services, retailers, or any body else anxious to sell things to bushwalkers, advise them to get in touch with the Business Manager, Brian Harvey, or give him their address.
Advertisements cost 12/6d. a page, 7/6d a half-page, with special reduced rates for advertisements which appear in two or more issues. The cost is pretty small - one large party for a car trip, or a few customers for a retailer, would easily cover it. Bushwalkers spend a lot on transport and equipment and an advertisement in our magazine brings good returns to the advertiser.
At Our April Meeting
The President was in the chair and there were about sixty members present. Two new members, Betty Degiden and Jim Smith were welcomed. Resignations were received from Alan Stien and David Stead.
A letter was received from the Valuer General saying that the Department of Education was desirous of acquiring a site for National Fitness purposes at Era. He had been requested to negotiate for lot 7 and asked what amount we would require for the land. A letter written by Marie Byles, the Club's Hon. Solicitor, explained to the Valuer General that this land had been acquired by the S.B.W. for camping as practised by recreational walkers, and for the preservation of the native flora and fauna. Previously the Club had worked in conjunction with the National Fitness Council to have the Era area resumed, but as things seemed to move so slowly, they raised money themselves and bought a portion of the land. The letter stated that the inclusion of lot 7 in the lands to be purchased was obviously a typographical error.
This correspondence initiated a long discussion. Myles Dunphy said that the original idea was to have the whole area resumed by the Government for public purposes, and that we should still try for this. The National Fitness Movement had said that only a small portion of Era Beach was to be improved, but he was pretty sure it would make a private beach of Era. He had Suggested Little Garie. He was not against the National Fitness movement but would. prefer the Minister for Lands to resume it. Money for its resumption had frequently been placed on the estimates, but year after year some power had caused it to be taken off again. If it were dedicated as a National Park the public would have an absolute title to it. It could be added to Garrawarra Park. Don Frost said that he had talked to a surveyor at little Garie and found that this area was being subdivided. Allan Herdie inquired what was the constitution of the National Fitness movement? He thought that the first thing they would do would be to build a hostel and then a road. Claude Haynes thought we should resolutely step out to keep the land for ourselves. It might become undedicated. At present several big English companies wanted land for holiday camps. Era Might be resumed and later given to private enterprise. Betty Hurley asked did we want the land just for ourselves? A school of thought represented by Eric Rowen, Arthur Gilroy, Ruby Payne-Scott and Bill Hall was of the opinion that we should defer a decision, and this was the eventual result of the discussion.
The Treasurer's report was rendered by the Assistant Treasurer, Allan Hardie, with asides such as “There's an alteration already”, and “11/2d. - I'd have itemised that”.
The Federation report initiated a discussion on notice of a motion that delegates should have complete freedom to vote without referring any matter back to their Club. The argument that a delegate with complete freedom of action ceased to be a delegate and could represent nobody but himself cut no ice. Allan Hardie thought a man could be a man and a delegate too. Mouldy Harrison said that delegates should not hold up action for two months unless the matter was contentious. Dorothy Lawry thought we should place confidence in our delegates. Laurie Rayner said that our Club built up a feeling in the Council that we wished to dominate it by deferring action. It was resolved to support the motion.
Myles Dunphy drew attention to the possible use of Jibbon Head or South West Arm for the disposal of Bundeena sewerage, and undertook to make further inquiries. Grace Noble drew attention to an article in the “Home Supplement” of the “Sydney Morning Herald” describing how the Bushcraft Association lived off the land in National Park. There were illustrations of a hut made of saplings and cabbage tree palms and other uses of the parks flora. It was resolved unanimously that our delegates be instructed to move forth expulsion of the Bushcraft Association from the Federation.
The President outlined the necessity for room stewards to arrange the furniture in the club room for the various functions and to replace it at the close of the evening. Bill Hall suggested that four people be elected for a period of two months. Eventually, two members, Jack Perry and Ernie French were elected to be room stewards together with two members of the Committee - the two committee members to be appointed monthly in rotation.
Roley Cotter reminded members about the Photographic Exhibition in June. As Curator of the Club Album he planned to fill two albums with photographs and asked for cooperation from photographers in this task. Leon Blumer moved that the Club buy certain articles of walking equipment for lending purposes. He pointed out that it cost £15 for complete walking gear, that Paddy couldn't hire out gear at certain times of the year and that it cost 6/- a weekend to hire out gear. Laurie Rayner referred to the difficulties of finding a place to keep the gear, of repairing it, of checking its hire and return, and so forth. Paddy was very efficient and we shouldn't set up shop in opposition. Allan Hardie thought we “should be ruthless in or discussion”. He himself couldn't afford bushwalking till he was 25. “Youngsters should do their walking in the National Fitness movement. Problems would be caused by the collection of fees, fumigation of gear etc. Nevertheless he “agreed in sentiment”. Myles Dunphy said that all that was really necessary was a knapsack at 6/6d. and a blanket at 29/- carried as a swag. Dorothy Lawry suggested that we might make a list of members willing to lend gear. The meeting agreed to this, appointing Betty Hurley to make the list.
On this note, with a few mutterings from the gloom in the rear, the meeting drew to a close at 10.10 p m.
CLUB OFFICERS APPOINTED AT COMMITTEEE MEETING
Assistant Treasurer: Allan Hardie
Assistant Membership Secretary: Jean Mowbray
Assistant Social Secretary: Jean Harvey
Duplicator Operators: Brian Harvey & Bill Gillam
Librarian: Jess Martin
Magazine Subscriptions: Helen Brooks
Curator of Photographic Album: Roley Cotter.
Projectionist: End Pegram
Social Committee: Betty Degiden, Bruce McInnes, Kevin Dean, Jo and Herb Morris
Membership Selection Committee: Membership and Walks Secretaries with power to co-opt any member of Committee.
Social Notes for May
There will be no debate on 20th May. Instead, Frank Leyden has a collection of beautiful slides to show us and of course there will be the usual good commentary.
There is just time to get in a few more dancing lessons before our dance on 27th May. This will be our first dance this year and we are going to make it a gala night, with good music, fast floor and plenty of prizes.
- Ed. Stretton,
Betty Hurley would like any walkers who have spare gear they are willing to lend, or alternatively, members who do not walk often and would be prepared to lend gear when not in use, to please contact her so that a list of willing lenders' names may be compiled for the benefit of new or prospective members.
The Twenty First Re-Union
Reported by Kath McKay
It is some years since the Father of the Reunion, a gentleman known to many by the musty title of Gray Ham, was heard to remark: “How nice it is to see one's little child grow up!”
His little child was then in its teens, but this year it has grown to man's estate, and believe me, it is Some Guy. Indeed it has grown to such proportions that it is a day's march to get round it, and even then you come away feeling that you ain't seen nothin' yet.
But what an excellent institution it is, this Reunion, when the age-harried or the much married, with joints creaking rustily or babes squeaking lustily, come toiling along the track to pitch a tent and a yarn for old times sake.
Then may be seen Paterfamilias hung all about with bales of goods, festooned with a species of cocoon for the latest-born, pushing a stroller, or submitting heroically to the demi-scalping grip of Junior, enthroned upon his shoulders.
Nor must we neglect to mention Materfamilias, with her burdens no less weighty in importance if not in avoir-du-poids. On her falls the responsibility of ensuring adequate food and clothing for the young, and generally for the adults as well, so she often takes the trail already wearied with hours of preparation. Attending a reunion in such circumstances entails real sacrifice, and is a measure of the abiding affection in Which the club is held.
It was consideration for members so placed, that moved the committee, in the deluge of March 11th, to the sacrilegious act of postponing the reunion. Dissenters muttered that the weather would probably be just as bad three weeks hence, but for once their forebodings were wrong.
Saturday April-2nd dawned with a few tears, but by lunch time it cheered up and dried its eyes, and from then on the weekend weather was perfection.
The minute we bought our ticket at Wynyard we felt': “This is going to be good” simply because the girl at the guichet smiled and said:. “It's going to be some reunion!”.
“Have many gone out?” we asked. “Mmm!” she nodded.
At the Liverpool change-over, quite a bevy of bushwalkers joined us: so many indeed, that at Macquarie Fields the train, evidently tutored, like the milkman's horse, to wait so long and no longer, moved off with our President, Renee Browne and other notables still aboard. We shouted and waved and the creature halted docilely enough and allowed them to descend.
To left: Ruby Payne-Scott, Bill Hall and Ray Kirkby at porridge.
Top right: Billie Davis and Bob Bright with prize- winning plain damper.
Middle left: Stan Madden enjoys his prize-winning fancy damper.
Middle right: The President and daughter go visiting.
Bottom left: Vice-President Roley Cotter and Treasurer Gil Webb entertain a lady visitor (Jo Newland.)
Bottom right: The Social Secretary Edna Stretton with prop.
Photographs by Peggy Bransdon and Phil Hall
The walk along a dustless road through a green country side was very pleasant, and gallant boy scouts gave us a hand across the river, which proved rather a trap for the short legged. Our afternoon fireside, consequently, was adorned with a steaming pair of pale pink small-clothes, belonging to one of our ex-presidents. (Well, whose do you think?)
And while speaking of the ford, we must express our admiration for Don Read, who left the joys of the Camp Fire to play St. Christopher to latecomers, and to wade the dark cold stream not once by many times.
Once across the river and up the track, and presto it was on again - the old extraordinary fascination that lures us out year after year, to re-Une and commune, free from prejudices of races, creed or politics, to meet on the common earth, the common ground - sometimes, it seems, the only common ground that is left to us in these contentious times. There was the unforgettable, unforgotten smell of wood-smoke, the welcoming cup of tea, and greetings all along the line from households already established.
There was the Noble pair with half their family and a hat of such exceeding antiquity that its nobility, too, went without saying. There were the dark-eyed Moppetts with Nancy, surprisingly, blue-eyed as a forget-me-not; Jean Kirkby and Ray our excellent amateur dramateur, radiating vitality and galvanising his Thespians into action; there were the Duncans, come thither by car - Anice thriftily gathering waste bread for the old goats at home, Barry grown at least half a head since last reunion, and Frank with a little of the hospital pallor still upon him. Dorothy Hasluck and Edna Garrad, on the other hand, had a fine bloom of health from their recent holiday in the Victorian alps; and Max Gentles rosy apple complexion, as usual put Max Factor to shame.
The ringing strokes of an axe made us blench for a moment, but it was only Bill Henley and his minions, hewing old logs of amazing girth for the camp fire.
Ken Meadows sped straight to the reunion Queensland, and incidentally had to borrow his fare from Central to do so.
Wal Roots tore himself from the delights of Kosciusko leaving Miriam and the babes still at the Chalet, and attended the function mothered by one of his numerous daughters - to wit, Daphne. David was there too, but of him more anon. The Armstrongs came by car, bringing civilised amenities such as a lamp of searchlight intensity, and a radio that refused, with suave insistence, to allow us to forget the excellence of Diomee brassieres, even in the bush, on a Sabbath morning.
Tarro came with music in his tongue and his fingertips. Hilma was there, of course, escorted by nephew Gavin - to whom she was heard to remark cryptically: “Gay, don't do anything the girls want to copy”. Frank and Jean Ashdown brought Eileen, pretty as a picture; and curly-haired Frances Thorsen accompanied the Chardons.
Jenny and Stan Madden came by truck - important persons these, since they brought the supper; and a very good supper too, of cocoa with plenty of body in it, and plum cake of quality unimpaired by its session in storage since March 11th.
Paddy was present, with Katherine: what campfire would be complete without him? Those strong if not so silent men, Clem and Dormie, lent their charm to the proceedings, and Roley's head twinkled sagely in the firelight. Phil Hall was there, and Bill Hall; Ruby Payne-Scott, Peg Bransdon, Maurie Berry, Duch Drewell; Shirley King; Tuggie, Stoddy; and the Body, alias Dorothy. Brigden, materialised out of the darkness during the evening.
But we should not have begun this catalogue. We might say, with Browning: “There they are, my fifty men and women - ” but there are fifty and more whom we have not mentioned, and if we essay a complete roll-call the editor (yes, he was there too) may chide and bid us proceed to the main event of the reunion, the camp-fire.
But before leaving this matter of the roll-call, we must remark that numerous as the attendance was, there Were yet many many gaps in the ranks. There were, for instance, no Pages, no McGregors, no Woods, no Harveys (meaning Brian and Jean) no Rolfes, no Wyborns, no Savages; no Crokers, no Mouldy (he docked a bare 24 hours late, returning from New Zealand) no Lawry (she broke a rib while taking a bath - always ,a risky proceeding) no Butlers, no Steads, no Roses, and above all no Dunc. How we missed her, moving unobtrusive from tent to tent, nursing the babies, photographing the toddlers, taking the tally of all the rising generation of bush walkers. We remembered how, in other years, she had given her precious time to provide each of us with an attractive little name-tag, shaped like a gum-leaf or a flannel flower, complete with cord to attach to the clothing, if any, or to encircle the neck of those who preferred the torso bare to the winds of heaven.
No the reunion was decidedly not the same without Dunc.
Long before we had finished our greetings and swallowed our frugal repast, night had fallen, as it had a habit of doing, and the trail of torches began to flicker towards the site of the camp fire. There was no moon, the stars were brightly shining as our opera addicts would be able to relate, there were no mosquitoes.
The fire was built in two great piles, and the lighting. ceremony this year followed a different pattern. A prologue, spoken by Duch Drewell, informed us that one fire would be lit by two of the oldest members of the Club, and the other by two new members. These two pairs, Renae and Tarro, and Betty Degiden and Roy Bruggy, then took up the tale and by the light of the leading flames read their admirably written script, pledging themselves, as representing the Club past and present, to maintain the bushwalking ideals.
Some community singing, wrung from us by Paddy, came next and praise is due to the concert organisers, who provided four pages of song sheets with words of many old favourites. The roneoing of these, and the writing and memorising of half-a-dozen or more topical sketches, in prose and verse, must have called for hours of labour and concentration, and we who played the effortless part of audience were suitably grateful to the more agile mentalities who set out to entertain us.
Exceedingly pleasant was the singing of the male voice choir, a quartet made up of Kevin Dean, David Roots, Bill Kinley and Gil Webb - joined, after the official concert was over by some twenty more, who harmonised late into the night, to the delectation of those sleeping by the camp fire.
The investiture of the President was this year merely a matter of routine, as Tom Moppett, like President Roosevelt, broke all records by being elected for a third term of office.
Reflecting pensively on the topical sketches, one was forced to the conclusion that the prolonged intestinal troubles of Sydney's streets had left their mark on the authors' minds. What with Kinley's Clam Clamp Closet Closing System - a neat piece of workmanship, executed with wondrous speed and dexterity by its inventor, Bill Kinley; the Life Saver sketch, where the rescuers with stomach pump discovered that they were using the patient's gut as a conduit for the Pacific Ocean; and the tribulations of Prince Pedro the Vego, who sought to cure his lady love's carnivorous appetite by removing her large Intestine (rhymed ingeniously with antiphlogistine) we felt that we had been brooding on the bowel for half the evening. The recent proposal to place visitors' books in alpine huts formed the basis for a sketch in which Dormie played the impassioned poet burning to record his impressions and emotions, and not a scrap of paper available. Finally a tram-ticket was found - (“What, has he paid his fare as last?” Grace Jolley cried from the audience) too late: Dormie had expired of frustration. At the Pearly Gates however, he was saved by the appearance of St.Peter with a Book.
Another brief sketch brought a despatch rider roaring into camp per motor bike with a special delivery parcel addressed to Mr. Hallstrom. Clemmie stepped into the limelight, and tore layer after layer of wrapping from the parcel, burning or burying the rubbish carefully as he proceeded. At last a smile dawned on his countenance - “Ah, my breakfast he cried, and revealed” - a giant cucumber.
David Roots made several appearances as an actor and lyric-writer as well as a singer; and Edna Stretton handled the ingenue roles with her customary aplomb.
Ray Kirkby, as usual, was the mainspring and backbone of the performance, if one may mix one metaphors, and appeared successively as the Censor, laughing heartily, in his unofficial capacity, at jokes submitted for the reunion, and then forbidding their use; as Pedro the Vega, mentioned previously, and as Fearless Fred of Bendethera, vainly trying to sustain life on thistles and nettles until led by Alan (Dormie) to one who could instruct him in living off the land.
The banning of firearms at Era inspired a sketch featuring Phil Hall as a dejected Cupid, tastefully arrayed in wings and loincloth, lamenting that the edict extended to the use of bows and arrows: and what would become of Era without Cupid's darts?
A note should be made on the bush-built stage props - bows, arrows, easel, lifesavers' line and reel, all of which actually worked, although constructed apparently of bits of stick tied together with bast.
In the midst of these frivolous items, but somehow entirely right, came Tarro with his marvellous gift of addressing a multitude as simply and naturally as though he were talking to one man over his camp fire. He spoke to us of Lazo our Volga boatman of many past concerts, dead lately in Tasmanian snows. We remembered him with pleasure and with regret, thinking of his music, his dignity and his pathos that belonged to a civilisation older than ours.
The initiation ceremony for new members was the most hilarious we have had for some years. Their numbers were considerable and they made quite a long row, blindfolded, face to face, each armed with a plate of porridge and a spoon with which to feed his opposite number. There were bitter mutual recriminations as bergoo was thrust into ears, hair and any but the right spot, and it was as well that this item came at the end of the programme, so that some cleaning up could be done during supper. At the Grand Finish a female voice cried: “Will you please return all blindfolds, as they belong to my sister's baby”.
And speaking of babies, who should arrive just in time for supper but the Eastoe family, with the two small boys blinking owlishly at the firelight. They had come by bicycle, each parent with a child on the handle bars and luggage amidships, taken the wrong road from Liverpool, and been compelled to retrace their steps and ford the river after all.
In still worse plight were the Cramps with their two small ones. They came by car, it is true, but went astray in a dry, inhospitable and military-ridden area, and finally in disgust went home for the night and set out again next day, arriving after lunch an Sunday.
The Whilliers, with Lynette, Richard and fourteen months old Christing also came out on the Sunday; and these, with the Culbergs/ Anna and the Burkes/ Frankie, brought our juvenile population to seventeen. The chief item of interest on Sunday was the damper competition. There were two prizes, one for the plain unvarnished article composed of flour water and salt; and one for the fancy variety in concocting which the cooks might really let their heads go.
Jean Moppett, Renee Dogmar Browne and Miriam Steenbham were appointed judges, and competitors with many oohs and ahs from burnt fingers extracted their creations from the tin matrix, wrapped them in swaddling clothes and laid them before the three sages femmes (wise women, if you prefer it that way).
The only genuine damper, cooked nude in the ashes, was a repulsive looking little object tossed in by David Roots, but on being broken open it proved to be very good indeed. There were four or five entries in the plain section, and the judges sat nibbling them and reflecting so long that the owners began to look apprehensive, thinking that not a crumb would be left. There was a reason for the delay however, namely, the reluctance of the only fancy damper to leave its tin. Stan Madden was the baker, and he prised it up tenderly round the edges while Jenny hovered above, waving her plaits to mitigate the heat.
At least the chef d'oevre was detached and placed proudly before the judges. It was a luscious thing studded with fruit and nuts and was immediately awarded first prize in its class.
First prize for the Plain went to Billie Davis for her toothsome product, and Gavin Talbot carried off second prize with his maiden effort, made under instruction from David Roots.
That with dips in the river, yarns in the sun and a little food absorbed from time to time, Sunday slipped away, and before we knew it, our Twenty-First Reunion was over.
SECOND HAND BUSHWALKING GEAR FOR SALE
Ladies 3-pocket steel framed rucksack. Good cond. on Host. Phone Bus. BU3131. 30/-.
Two-man white japara A tent 25/-. Two mosquito tent 7/6d. X
One-man lightweight mosquito tent 5/-. Brian Harvey. Phone Bus. BU3131.
X Regret unable to state whether tent covers two mosquitos or repulses them two at a time. - Ed.
The Black Sheep of the Federation
By Brian G Harvey.
The Sydney Bushwalkers was the first Club to raise a cry of protest against the distribution to children of the objectionable illustrated pamphlets advocating the making of snares and log-fall traps which destroyed our protected, and other birds and animals for the children's amusement.
At a Federation meeting, Mr, Dick Graves (also known as “Wontolla”) admitted he was the author of the pamphlets and caused them to be published on behalf of a retail firm. Whilst denying - their harmful character the distributing firm, realising that the hunting instinct of the savage is strong in children, expressed regret at its thoughtless action and withdrew the pamphlets from circulation. Not, however, before practices which contravened Wild Life Preservation Acts had been instilled into many young minds.
The Bushcraft Association was the brainchild of Mr. Graves (we have that in writing). They both advocate the same destruction of wild life and contravention of State Laws. The Association boasts over 100 members, no age limit. One is five years of age and already is on the trail of destruction (this also is in writing).
Apparently having decided they should foist their anti-conservational ideas upon the bushwalking movement, with their tongue in their cheek they made a declaration that they would subscribe to the Federation's Constitution, and so hoodwinked some delegates into admitting affiliation by a slender majority. We and the Coast and Mountain Walkers amongst others, naturally dissented, showing some foresight as has later been proved.
On Anzac Day, Sunday 25th April, 1948, Bushcraft Association members were apprehended shooting in a Flora. and Fauna Reserve, breaking the law by the carriage and discharge of firearms on the Sabbath, and disregarding Federation's Objects.
Their contemporary in South Australia brought bad odour upon the bushwalking movement arising out of which this Club sought to have a resolution placed on Federation's books to the effect that Federation disapproved any publication, which directly or indirectly associated the author with it (the Federation) in respect of any book or article advocating the destruction of wild life whether animal or vegetable as a means of self-preservation (or amusement). This included the snares and log fall traps. The motion was lost,as many Clubs had delegates who apparently suffered defective vision in their reading of the Constitution.
On 8th August, 1947, Federation adopted a Policy on National park, clause 9 thereof reading:- “This Federation deplores the use by the National Park Trust of the cabbage-tree palm, whether DEAD OR ALIVE' and parts of straight, immature trees for road signs/ OR ANY OTHER PURPOSE and considers their use AN INCITEMENT TO OTHERS to follow these examples, and calls upon the Trust to set the public an example.”
The Federation Constitution inter alia reads:
OBJECTS, 2(3) To promote the establishment and preservation of national parks and primitive areas, and reserves for the protection of native flora and fauna.”
2(4) “To prevent the spoilation of the bush, natural scenery and wild life and TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC OPINION to appreciate and Preserve these things.”
MEMBERSHIP may be granted to “All Associations and persons which or who subscribe to the objects of the Federation.”
Notwithstanding the foregoing, 9th April tens of thousands of readers of “Home Magazine” were regaled with an illustrated article depicting members of th eBushcraft Association at work on the CABBAGE-TREE PALM thatched with its SAPLING and bracken beds, others making a rope from torn up grasses,and a lad robbing a wild bees nest, in no other venue, if you please, than that of NATIONAL PARK, where ALL flora and fauna are protected. The article went on to say interalia : 'Each Weekend more than 100 members of the Bushcraft Association live off the land in NATIONAL PARK. 'these enthusiasts snare animals and fish with thorns. They have a varied diet of rabbit, deer, fish, eels and grubs. Foxes and wild cats are hunted. Even wild bees nests are not robbed INDISCRIMINATELY. The Association originated during the war when Mr. R. Graves found himself in charge of jungle rescue in the Pacific“.
A no more incriminating indictment could have been illustrated to support the charge we brought against them. What a marvellous build up for an approach to the Government for the representation of conservationists and bird lovers on the Park Trust, for the broadening of the terms of the Flora and Fauna Protection Act as desired by the Federation. I don't think !
For years our conservationists have worked hard and have endeavoured and succeeded in placing the bushwalking movement on a high plane; in teaching that we should pass through the bush without destruction, leaving no mark save our hobnail footprints; in gaining the recognition and confidence of Government Departments in our sincerity of thought and action in the establishment and preservation of national parks and reserves for wild life: to be regarded by the general public as recreationists and not oddities and crackpots, and last, but not least, to observe the Laws, particularly as regard those applying to bushwalking.
Unfortunately for these idealists, the Bushcraft Association is linked with this Club by common affiliation with the Federation and any action by the Bushcraft Association reflects upon us. Through such link outsiders may conclude that we acquiesce in the Association's teachings. Nothing is further from the truth.
The article in the “Home Magazine” was in blatant disregard for the Federation's Constitution and policy as outlined earlier, and incited the reading public to follow in the breaking of laws and regulations, and the further destruction of National Park.
With the foregoing in mind, the S.B.W. at the April Federation Meeting moved: “That in view of the S.W. Bushcraft Association's continued disregard for the Federation's Constitution to which they subscribed on affiliation, their name be struck from the list of affiliated associations”. Discussion on this far-reaching motion was curtailed by the application of the “gag” and the motion lost, much to the disgrace of other delegates who did not have the courage of their convictions and who were content to have the Federation's name (and theirs) still dragged in the mud.
A subsequent motion by the C.M.W. “That the N.S.W. Bushcraft Association be invited either to subscribe to Federation's aims and constitution or else consider whether they should tender their resignation” was carried, but immediate notice to rescind the motion was given by the University Bushwalkers, the stonewall tacticians of the Council.
In effect, we proceeded nowhere and the Bushcraft Association's game goes on. Just how long this Club will tolerate the position without positive action will not be difficult to assess. I have chronicled the events which led up to the expulsion motion and I leave it to the reader to judge if we were in the wrong.
Safety in the Bush - Lost or Overdue
By Jim Brown
Do you want to get lost or overdue? Its a push-over. Here's how.
1 Don't look at a map before you go out .. let someone else do it.
2.Don't take map or compass with you. Go lightweight.OR
3 Take them but don't trouble to look at then until you're sure you are astray. OR
4.Take them and look. at them and pretend you can use them if you can't.
5.Rely on finding the minor tracks shown on your map - even if was published last century.
6.Rely on your memory - someone else led you there before.
7.Always reckon on 30 miles per day - 25 if it is very rugged.
8. Don't tell anyone where you are going. If you do, tell a non-walker and tell them verbally. It means nothing to them.
9.On long hard trips never start before 10am.
10. Don't trouble about getting back. There may be a train or bus.
And, of course, the extra. special way of getting into strife is separating. You recall the little boy who considered it was all right to find a grub in apple but thought it a poor show find half a grub. That's the S&R reaction to split parties. Its tough going trying to find a lost party at times ; trying to find the raggle taggle scattered straying bits of a lost group is murder. Please, please keep the party together, particularly in tough country, more particularly if they include inexperienced walkers. Please.
But being members of SBW you don't do these things do you ? Right Mr/Mrs/Miss Smart, try your hand at this quiz. No prizes, save the satisfaction of knowing your maps.
1. You have a military map, Liverpool area, one inch to one mile: You're following a ridge shown on your map (when oriented) in a straight line from the right hand side towards the left. The country is scrubby and visibility poor, and there are quite a number of branching ridges. You decide to work by compass. Now your compass bearing will be : 15 degrees, 94, 120, 270, 301 or 261 degrees ?
2.We said the ridge was straight. You have to follow it for exactly the width of three grid squares, the turn south along a spur. The time is now 10.25 am and you reckon you are walking at 3 miles per hour. You should look out for the ridge south at 10.50, 10.40 or 11.5, 11.40, 11.30.
3.Too bad, but something went wrong, so you arrived at your destination a day overdue. Naturally you go straight to the place marked P on the map because that is a Pub, Police Station, Pound, Post Office, Penitentiary?
4. Did you say Police Station to No 3 above? If so, you were wrong. Of course, it may not be a bad notion to look in on the constabulary in case some well meaning relative has already set the alarms ringing. But it is most important to save those relatives from distress by going first to the post office and wiring them. (This has not always been done by overdue walkers - be warned) It might not be a bad plot to wire Paddy too - just in case he's organising search parties. After all, your folk may be so relieved to know you're safe, they'll forget what -they've started. Paddy, isn't likely to have any emotional reaction on your particular behalf and will cancel search plans if any.
By the way, your people know they must panic only by numbers, I hope? It must be a properly organised panic, with a delayed action fuse so that they don't blow up until you're 24 hours overdue. Of course, , if they manufacture McQuackenshaw's Krisp Krunchy Dog Biscuits, or Simone Adele's Vitrio1 Soap for Baby's Skin, they should lose no time in going to the newspapers. This won't help find you, but they'll get wonderful cheap publicity out of it. If they've nothing to sell, and are concerned only about your miserable carcase, It's far better to phone Paddy or the S &R Contact Man (telephone numbers on back of Walks Programme.)
About our mapping quiz, now did I hear you say that you don't need to know that rubbish to get by? No you don't - if you're always led, and always stick by that leader. There may come a day when you feel the urge to do something really BIG or NEW - to break unfamiliar ground (to you anyway) - and then there's no substitute for knowing, for instance that it should be 261-deg. and 11.5 a m.
By the way, Club membership is about 280. The S&R panel of volunteers that go look for the delayed and battered numbers barely 20 from this Club. Was it of this Churchill said “Never have so many left so much to so few?” Well, was it?
Something about Casualties next month.
Geology for the Bushwalker
That the nature of the land surface and of the underlying rock and that these in turn largely determine the flora and fauna, was the theme of Allen Strom's lecture on Friday night. In less than an hour, he had made this point very clear by reference to the formation of the main types of rock and lantern slides showing the scenery to which they give rise. It was important in conserving area that habitat groups of typical flora and fauna associated with the different types of rock eg. granite and sandstone should be selected.
Allen fitted a lot of information into a short space of time, but the audience was always able to follow with interest, as the questions which he answered later proved. At the end of the lecture Allan Hardie gave the lecturer and the listeners the benefit of his knowledge of animalcules together with a striking illustration of the cycle of erosion. He pointed out that if we stood out in the weather long enough we would disintegrate too.
Last month the “Forestry. Logs a harrawin7 tale of efforts to transport to the clubrooms the necessary equipment for Film Night (by courtesy of W.E.A.) - but that was only their half , of the story.
When eventually the equipment was retreived from the Police Station and set up ready for projection, no films were to be found. The impression seemed to be that a representative from the W.E.A. was coming with films and making a short address. By 8.15 p m. there was no representative and no films, so the Social Secretary's Deputy Assistant for the evening, Jess Martin, went to telephone the W.E.A. The public phone box in Crown Street was occupied by two Cornel Wilde louts having an hilarious conversation with, obviously a girl, and after waiting impatiently for some minutes she rung from a box at Darlinghurst and found that the films were still in the library. It was now 8.30 p m. Leaping on to a tram Jess sped, or more precisely rattled, to the Quay, where six cans of film were handed out, with a remark that they were rather heavy. Time raced on so a taxi was found and, after a ten yards, another fare going in the same direction was taken aboard and dropped before Crown St. Then the taxi driver was stopped by a police car which had been following him - “picking up another fare whilst already engaged”, showing his “Vacant sign whilst occupied, etc.” After some involved discussion he was allowed to proceed, the driver taking the long way round the block to avoid the same police car. The time was now about 8.40 p m. and many of the members despairing of seeing any films, had departed.
The Social Secretary, not knowing What was entailed, had asked Jess to take charge of the films and return them to the W.E.A. by 8.45 a m. on the Monday, to which she had innocently agreed. But the question was how to get the equipment home? Maurie Berry and Vic Bolton lent a hand and carried it on to the pavement in Oxford Street where they vainly hailed taxis. Evidently they didn't look like good fares standing surrounded apparently by loot. Then Maurie had a brainwave, and rang for a Hire Car Which disposed of them at the bus stop at Wynyard and took Jess and her impedimenta home.
Monday morning isAa-Ver the best.- It was worse with this added bayden. But chivalry still survives. Friend brother-in- law came to the rescue, walked to the local rank and brought a taxi les to the door, loaded the gear in and off to the W.E.A. - to arrive before the allotted time, and deposit it at the office doorstep. Thus ended the Club's second weight-lifting exhibition.
Federation Notes - April Meeting
By Brian G. Harvey
THE SEARCH AND RESCUE SECTION announced it would search for any walker whether club member or not or any person travelling in the bush. In reply to the S.B.W. question, it was learned that insufficient information was forthcoming regarding Mr. Ryan who was lost in the Nattai Area to institute a search in the early stages.
YERRANDERIE Mrs. R. A. Greig advised she conducts a general store and will cater for walkers and can supply bread on two days' notice.
S.U.B.W. MARATHON was disapproved and that club asked to cancel but it gave notice to rescind the motion. S. & R. Section will not render assistance if called upon.
NATIONAL PARK MEETING on 22nd March was poorly attended. A committee was to be formed to formulate ideas for representation on the Park Trust.
YURRUNGA CREEK Mr. Griffin of Yurrunga Creek is prepared to carry walking parties from Kangaroo Valley at moderate rates. His property is eight miles below Fitzroy Falls and address is C/- Barrengarry P.O.
BUSHCRAFT ASSOCIATION Report of proceedings appears elsewhere in this magazine.
Doug and Marjorie Johnson have returned from their honeymoon trip to Tasmania. They went through the Reserve, did the Hartz Mountains and came back up the East Coast.
Kath and Jim Brown are back too - from Lamington, where they passed off as ordinary boarders and hikers till they revealed their true identity by crossing a stream knee deep.
Burning the bush slowly destroys the water supply. It quickly destroys the timber. This seems so obvious that one would think it was not necessary to mention it. But over and over again one hears that remark that burning the bush does it good. It doesn't. Even under the most favourable conditions when the trees do re-grow, they regrow stunted, maimed and dwarfed and from a timber point of view vastly inferior and often useless. - Marie Byles.
Reprinted with the permission of the “Kiama Independent”.
A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL
Yes, we all had a good trip at Easter, blessed as we were with the finest weather we have had for years. Kanangra Walls area is getting somewhat the worse for wear. Broken bottles, tins and other disgusting jetsam are to be seen everywhere - even, alas! in places whore the motor tourist is not normally wont to go. By comparison the Kowmung looked lovelier than ever. The wet seasons we have had were reflected in the lush grass end the green serenity of the mountainsides. Dense stands of Casuarina saplings augur well for the replacement of those lovely giants which succumbed to drought and fire in the lean years.